Group CEO's Message

Group CEO's Message

I am proud to be part of an exceptional team of talented people across ADCB. Together, we have delivered a strong set of results for all our stakeholders in 2018

When I was entrusted to lead the Bank 10 years ago, I was energised by an ambitious vision for our future. Working with a passionate executive team and a strong Board, we seized the opportunity to create something new, something bold—a bank with a clear, unwavering focus on our customers and our country. I would like to thank the Board for their strong and continued support, trust and guidance which has helped to set the tone from top to bottom in terms of our culture and ability.

The result is the Bank you know today. A highly-successful financial institution with solid capital strength, an award-winning brand and a high- performing workforce. Motivated by our ambition and guided by rigorous discipline, we were able to deliver steady growth and create sustainable value for our stakeholders despite the headwinds of global economic volatility.

I am pleased to say that net profit increased by 13% over 2017, while our quarterly net profit surged 27% over the prior year to a record high. The return on average equity lifted to 16.3% from 15.0% in 2017. We once again enjoyed measured growth, created substantial shareholder value and delivered strong metrics. Our loans and deposits increased, and our current and savings account (CASA) deposits comprised 39% of total customer deposits.

This is a culmination of a vision that began a decade ago, which has delivered exceptional returns. Our shareholders have benefitted from an extraordinary 10-year total shareholder return of 520%. At the same time, we have seen asset growth of 89% and a 256% rise in net profit since 2008. These figures illustrate the strength of our strategy and our commitment to creating long-term value.

Our operating environment continues to be influenced by rapid changes in technology, transforming customer expectations and behaviour. The banking sector is now increasingly a digital-first environment and we have been active in providing new ways for our customers to connect with us.

As a result, and in line with our clear and compelling strategy around digital development, we have embarked on a transformation programme across the Bank. We are committed to enhancing the customer journey to provide an exceptional experience and enable faster and more secure banking for all our customers. We will continue to invest in technology, talent development and IT security to cement our position as a progressive player in this evolving environment.

This digital acceleration has continued to help us expand and improve our services as well as providing a valuable opportunity to engage with our customers on a uniquely personal level. This year we further refined our digital platforms and launched a number of new apps to make banking more convenient and immediate.

Strategy in Action

None of our successes happened by chance. They have been driven by an ambitious strategy, delivered through our determined commitment to excellent customer service, and through our shared values of integrity, care, ambition, respect and discipline.

It is our adherence to our long-term strategy, with its five key pillars, that has generated the resilience necessary to confidently navigate the ups and downs of the global economy. We review our strategy on a regular basis, and last year digital transformation was incorporated as one of our pillars to reflect the growing move to digital-first in the banking sector.

With an unrelenting focus on serving the UAE, and by placing our customers at the heart of everything we do, we stand apart from our competitors, providing our customers with a high level of knowledge and skill that is second to none. It is a strategy that has supported our ambition, helping us enhance the lives of our stakeholders and creating a real and valuable point of difference from other financial institutions.

Our People

In many respects, working at ADCB is more of a lifestyle than just a job. Perhaps that is why we have one of the highest employee engagement scores of any bank—not just in the UAE, or even regionally, but across the world. In fact, the level of engagement ranks amongst the top of high-performing organisations in the Fortune 500.

This is an achievement of which we can be rightfully proud. It demonstrates the quality and clarity of our purpose, ambition, and leadership across the Bank.

Another source of personal pride for me is that in 2018, Siddiqa Abbas joined our Management Executive Committee. As the first Emirati woman on the Committee, Siddiqa brings a wealth of experience to her new role as Chief Operations Officer and a 14-year heritage of achievement at ADCB.

Siddiqa represents exactly the high-calibre of skills, experience and innovative thinking that serves to differentiate us.

We recognise the importance of diversity in the Bank. We have also seen a significant increase in the number of women joining the Bank and moving into leadership roles. More than 39% of our workforce is female with 29% of middle and senior management roles held by women.

We are also proud to continue to lead the way in Emiratisation in the banking sector and we continue to exceed the Central Bank's requirement on Emiratisation points which covers recruitment, development and progression of UAE national talent.

Attracting and retaining top talent is fundamental to our success and is one of the ways that helps us to provide such a consistent customer experience.

Social Engagement

Our success also means helping others. We are committed to promoting financial literacy to empower the next generation and to help contribute to the economy and stability of the UAE.

Through our longstanding partnership with the Emirates Foundation, we continue to work hard to raise levels of financial awareness, especially with young adults through our MoneySense programme.

We also play an important role in encouraging the adoption of responsible lending and sound financial management practices across the UAE.

Beyond Ambition

Having achieved so much, there is no better time to move beyond ambition.

Our merger with Union National Bank, and the combined Bank's acquisition of Al Hilal Bank, represents a new dawn for our Bank and our people. It brings with it new possibilities and exciting opportunities that we are well-placed to capitalise on.

We can be rightly proud of our impressive track record of financial stability, consistently delivering strong returns to our shareholders. Our deep expertise, positive culture and robust governance helped us fulfil our ambition and set the standard for the UAE banking sector.

These attributes will serve us well as we move beyond that ambition to truly transform the banking sector across the UAE. They will enable us, in this new era, to deepen our engagement with our employees, better connect with our customers, create even more value for our investors, give more support for communities, and deliver an extremely powerful contribution to the next stage in the development of the UAE economy.

Our Legacy

A decade on, and I remain just as energised about the mission before us today. I am honoured by what we have delivered together, and passionate about our future. I am also very proud of the successful, resilient and customer-centric Bank that we have built together as a team. Striving for excellence is—and will continue to be—embedded in our DNA.

As we embark on a new and exciting chapter in our story, I am looking forward to leading ADCB into a successful, long-term future we can all be proud of. Again I would like to thank the Chairman, members of the Board and the executive management team for their support and acknowledge all the people, including our employees, who have worked so hard at every level to get us to where we are today. By working together we will build on our rich heritage and journey beyond ambition.

Ala'a Eraiqat
Group Chief Executive Officer
Member of the Board of Directors